“And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out , saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. And the whole city was filled with confusion . . . Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.” (Acts 19: 23 – 41)
This account of a riot in ancient Ephesus contains a perfect application to our present-day turmoil. I recommend reading the whole account. The ending is unexpected.
Riots, violence, unrest, and anger are not new to this world. There is always something that will set off one group against another.
History Repeats Itself
I remember the late 60s when the Democratic Convention was filled with angry protests. And major cities like Chicago and Cleveland had riots. Back then, the turmoil was over the Vietnam War, race relations, the Kent State shooting, poverty, feminism and other stuff.
Sounds a lot like today. Just different names and different places. As a young kid of 11 years, I watched all this with amazement. Most of these things were happening in the big cities like San Francisco, LA, New York, Chicago.
The rest of the country just dealt with these problems as best they could.
I can’t help but think that a lot of this is about people living on top of each other. With no place to get away and think. Folks are stacked on top of each other 50 stories up. And no elbow room horizontally either. They are breathing stale air. Waiting in traffic. Waiting in line for everything. Where every small offense threatens to ignite like a match in a dynamite shed. Just waiting for a little spark to set everything off.
Much of this friction seems to originate from the big cities. Every new aberrant behavior. Every new philosophy. Every new law to allow a very small number of people to force their own sensitivity and sexual bent on the rest of the country. Such as when we prosecute and horrendously fine people unwilling to bake a cake for a wedding they don’t believe in.
We are living in the most boastfully “tolerant”, yet intolerant age; where every little behavioral style must force its expression on everyone else. People must have their way. We must cater to every whim of stupidity and wickedness.
This is why we need to spread out.
The Command to Replenish the Earth
God commanded men to spread out across the face of the whole earth. “And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth.” (Genesis 9:1)
I don’t have the figures to show this, but I’ll bet we could each have our own valley if we spread out. Like, in the Three Stooges, where Moe often said to Larry and Curly, “Spread out!”
The cities have always been a big problem. Sodom and Gomorrah come to mind. Not a happy ending there. We should take a lesson from Lot in Genesis. Lot liked the beautiful fields outside the city and pitched his tent “toward Sodom”. But eventually he was drawn inside it with all its wickedness.
If we would learn to be more independent in our living styles, we wouldn’t need to try to force everyone to follow our own immoral bent. The guys that wanted to do something weird, could just go to their own valleys. They would be forced to deal with all the consequences of their alternative lifestyles by themselves.
And, if they didn’t do the right thing, the Lord would deal with them as a group. No rain. Draught. Flood. Lightning bolts. This is the way God has dealt with things in the past. With nations and people as a group. Blessing and withholding blessing as He chose.
I think one of the reasons many people like to live in the big cities is that there they have an illusion of security. The city allows them to choose among a vast array of unbiblical beliefs with less objection than they would generally find in the small towns.
When that occurs, when they leave trust in the Lord behind, they need the big groups. They need the government to step in and take care of them. To provide for them. To make them feel accepted.
Everyone Chooses His Own Security Blanket
Because, when we abandon God, something else will step in to fill the vacuum. Satan is always standing at the door to provide an alternative. He has a plate of warm cookies, pretty lights and all sorts of cool, sparkly things to calm the fears of those who veer away from the authority of scripture.
OK. I know you may like the big cities. And this is not a doctrine against big cities I am hammering out here. I am talking about a trend. What usually happens. And why it happens.
Of course, this does not apply to everyone that lives in the city. It also doesn’t mean there aren’t great things to see and do in many cities. A visit to the city can be an amazing adventure.
This is about the philosophies and values that commonly grow in the huge metropolitan areas. It is also about the pride and ego that these media, cultural, educational and financial centers develop about their own importance and place in the world. As if what happens there must be the nucleus of all else that happens in the country.
It is just that the big cities want to dictate how the rest of the country is to live. They think that all the rest of us should follow laws that are relevant, for the most part, just to their own super-concentrated environments.
For example, LA and New York City are highly polluted areas. And they want to make the rest of the world clean. Maybe just stop concentrating all that industry in the big cities. Spread out. Let the earth breathe. The earth can handle it.
I could say a whole lot more. But I am just leaving it alone for now.
The God of All Comfort
Just one thing. Quit believing the mainstream media. They have their own agenda. They are not objective. They are telling you what they want you to think.
Think for yourself. Stop being a media junky. It is just junk. It will kill you.
From the opening verse of this post, it is interesting to note that a woman or “goddess” was at the center of that uprising. So many were enraged that she was not shown the proper respect. But, really, the entire mess was instigated by wealthy men who had much to lose if she fell out of favor.
A concluding point? God is not the author of confusion. The turmoil is coming from somewhere else.
We don’t know what will happen in this world. We don’t know if our leaders will truly be good or bad. But God does.
My best advice?
Pray. Seek the Lord who is the God of all comfort. Go to the Prince of Peace. Trust Him as Lord and Savior. Begin seeking help from Him rather than all the other sources seeking to sink their claws into you. To make you dependent on them.
A sincere heart seeking Christ in His Word will find in Him a “peace that passeth all understanding.”